Monthly Archives: August 2013

Letters on Syria (BC & Clun Liberal Democrats)

Dear Friend,

Can I test branch opinion? If it is strongly one way, I will pass it on (and up!).

I oppose military intervention….Iraq and Afghanistan are the dreadful comparators (not Libya). It would of course, like Iraq, be an  ” illegal” war. More importantly – what might be the consequences? Unknowable – but certainly more deaths and refugees. And a de facto move into the Syrian civil war…..on one side – whose 1000 + ‘rebel’ components are arguably as unpleasant as Assad… 50,000 Kurds fled them 2 weeks ago, into Iraq.

Let the US and Russia return to the conference mooted in May – let the Arab League be supported in efforts at least in a cease fire.

While Iraq had a very nasty regime, the invasion exponentially raised the number – 4 million rather than 2 million refugees, for example.

And, of course, it stinks of double standards. There are plenty of other nasty regimes – indeed, civil wars – where humanitarian imperatives are just as strong. And, of course, there are nasty regimes who are too strong for ‘us’ to threaten; or where our trade is too important.

What do you think?


Peter (Branch Chair)

Respond by 1800 h Friday if poss


Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for those who replied in such a short time  ..None of the replies supported Action in the way proposed by HMG(there were some nuances.)

 I have passed this on to Constituency Chairs & C Tinker,since one would hope for a Public statement of some sort.

 Only 9 LD MP’s voted against HMG;a sad decline from our position on Iraq.

 many thanks,




Peter goes into history

Retired County Councillor Peter Phillips is going into the County’s historical record….because he was an IT dinosaur..!

‘Most correspondence in recent years has been electronic, so there is a pretty fair lack of records for future historians.But I confess I did not do email, instead relying on the excellent Shirehall secretariat, so I have a huge pile—25 arch folders!—of paper correspondence.

The County Archivist was flatteringly delighted to take them into her stewardship.’

Mr Phillips’ papers run from 2006-2011(he retired in August 2011). It includes, primarily, his residents’ concerns and his efforts to answer them. But he was leader of the LibDems 1999-2009…so there is correspondence with the others parties all the way up to parliamentary level, with campaigning bodies and with Council officers. ‘’During these years we were in opposition and there were some decidedly uncomfortable passages-well, you might say, passages of arms! And big issues arose, including Schools closures, council cuts,etc.

Mr Phillips has already deposited a number of collections in the County archives, including campaigning issues like Aircraft noise; and the struggle for the SpArc centre in Bishops Castle—‘I held my first meeting on that in 1981’, he reflected’…it was opened in 2006!

And he has deposited some 15 years of Minutes and notes concerning the LDem group meetings,those of the Council coalition(with Lab and Inds), revealing the debates and discussions involved in being In Power(as well as in the subsequent years.) ’I cant pretend that there wren’t some pretty heated metings,’ said Mr Phillips. ’’I do hope that, if a researcher comes along, my colleagues will not be too precious over confidentiality…it would be good for the public to see how THEIR council runs…..Maybe our national leadership should have consulted council leaders on how to operate a Coalition: we had been doing it for years!’

Mr Phillips is actually keen to recruit a researcher ‘To write the shameful story of Shropshire Council’s repeated assaults on our schools: the Authority and its leadership do not come out at all well…..and I fear it is a story still incomplete.’’

Contact Peter Phillips 01588 650 625


999 – a letter to Phillip Dunne MP

Dear Philip,

December last a 999 call was made for an ambulance to come to me.

It took AN HOUR.

I believe the target response time in a rural area is 20 mins.

Had it been a heart attack,conventional opinion suggests that I would not have survived.


I had been bleeding heavily for 2 hours, dangerous, potentially, since I am on Warfarin.

I contacted Shropdoc, who instantly said they would 999 an ambulance: this was about 0130…ambulance arrived 02.30.

I raised my concerns some weeks later. A very long letter arrived, giving minute by minute account of events which distilled into what I have said. W Mids Ambulance said they had been unable to get out a Shrewsbury ambulance,all were had gone cross-Border: mine came from Newtown.


They concluded by saying that they were constantly seeking to improve their service!!!!!!!!


 I have no doubt that they will send you a huge letter as they did me : please dont forward it ! We need to kick them into DOING SOMETHING!!!!!


With thanks,

Yours sincerely,



Call for Apprentices

A new partnership is to encourage firms in SW Shropshire to take on apprentices…and candidates to come forward!

Enterprise SW Shropshire has entered a partnership with County Training to promote apprenticeships in the area.

 ‘I was really encouraged by the example of our successful partnership with Shropshire Council in developing Childcare,’ said ESWS Chairman,Peter Phillips,’and so I invited County Training out to discuss a similar arrangement. Our Manager, Mike Ashwell, had already been involved in helping at some of the ‘roadshows’ and, indeed, it was one of our directors, Cllr Charlotte Barnes, who had first kicked off the ideas, now adopted across the County. The Community College is, of course, also represented on our Board and has an interest in this.’

 Enterprise House staff will be able to offer information and advice and its extensive Business Network will be part of the promotion to encourage employers.


Contact Peter Phillips  01588 650 625

               Mike Ashwell  01588638038